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Autism is a mental illness

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Autism is a mental illness

Category: Term paper

Subcategory: Psychology

Level: Academic

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Autism is a mental illness that is a result of a neurological disorder that impacts on the normal functioning of the brain. The symptoms linked to autism appear during early childhood, usually the first three years of life. The disorder is identified by impaired social relation, communication both verbal and non-verbal, processing of sensory information, and restricted and repetitive behavior (Matson, Dempsey, LoVullo, & Wilkins, 2008). The following paper will look how autism influences development across the lifespan.

In most cultures, autism is often thought as a childhood disorder with most public attention focusing on children. However, autism is a lifelong condition that affects development across the lifespan. The available, necessary support and treatment procedures change as people move through major life phases. The quality of life depends on childhood foundation, ongoing supports specific to their education, medical, social, family and employment needs.

Autism affects the verbal and nonverbal communication, and they vary depending on the social and development of the children and adult. Some people have little or no speech while others have normal speech. Those with normal speech, however, may not communicate effectively and may say odd or inappropriate things, repeat a statement, say things not relevant to the current topics or talk on a specific topic for a long time without knowing other have lost interest (White, Keonig, & Scahill, 2007). In children the specific challenge in a language impend on the child’s progress in social interaction and expressive communication often implicated as challenging behavior.

Children and adults with autism often have difficulty following social rules that make them appear unfriendly. For example, they tend not to maintain eye contact and may appear not to be listening. Children with autism also rarely engage in any activities or engage in imaginative play (Watson, Baranek, & Dilavore, 2003). They may use toys in an unusual way for instance by lining by up objects, spinning or flicking them around. They often become obsessed with a specific item such as a ball or a string. They also find it difficult to form an attachment with their caregiver and have a poor sibling relationship. In school-age children, autism brings innumerable challenges that often affect their development. They often bullied by other kids, experience stress and anxiety caused by difficulty in dealing with changes and unpredictable situation, and often require constant support in their everyday activities. People with the disability may also engage in self-harming traits such as banging their heads on walls.

The transition from the school system to adult services can be challenging since the routine differs. Development of social and relationships is often a problem since they find it hard to express their feeling that tend to make them lonely (Orsmond, Krauss, & Seltzer, 2004). They also lack interest in most activities, and a case of interest might not be a common activity among the peers. In employment, there tend to have limited social skills that may make colleagues uncomfortable. Depending on the severity of the disorder a person with autism may live in their homes or an institution that caters to their needs.
Proper therapy and medication may lessen the symptoms of autism with age. People with the disorder can manage to take care of themselves. They can also manage to develop social relations with close friends, acquaintances, and colleagues that give them a sense of belonging. In their job, they can become very successful with the help of an organization that defines their end goals since they are often very independent. Normal life can be achieved through continued motivation and moral support by family, close friends, and colleagues.


Matson, J. L., Dempsey, T., LoVullo, S. V., & Wilkins, J. (2008). The effects of intellectual functioning on the range of core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29 (4), 341-350.
Orsmond, G. I., Krauss, M. W., & Seltzer, M. M. (2004). Peer Relationships and Social and Recreational Activities Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism. Journal of Autism and Development Disorder, 34 (3), 245-256.
Watson, L. R., Baranek, G. T., & Dilavore, P. C. (2003). Toddlers With Autism: Developmental Perspectives. Infant and Young Children, 16 (3), 201-214.
White, S. W., Keonig, K., & Scahill, L. (2007). Social Skills Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Intervention Research. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37 (10), 58-1868.



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